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Sep 20, 2016 6:40 PM

What Are Landrace Strains and Why Do We Need Them?

Nowadays, many cultivators are trying to avoid breeding native strains of marijuana. They give smaller yields, lower THC levels, and are usually slow to grow. However, preserving natural strains is highly important. Here is everything you need to know about heirloom and landrace strains.

What Are Landrace Strains and Why Do We Need Them?​

What Is a Landrace Strain?

A landrace strain is a cannabis strain that has been growing in its natural environment for centuries. These strains develop unique features and properties to adapt to their climate. In other words, they are indigenous cannabis plants. Some of the strains are domesticated by cultivators, while others grow wild in different countries. Thus, the same strain from the Kush Mountain region and Thailand will have some differences.

Why Are Landrace Strains Special?

Landrace strains are highly important because of their genetics. Growing wild for centuries, these strains develop unique features and change their color, leaf size, and variations in phytochemical production in order to adapt to their habitat.

Cannabis ruderalis is a bright example of wild adaptation. It has gradually changed its genetics over time, and now it is considered to be something between indicas and sativas. Being native to cold climates, ruderalis plants adapt to severe weather and reach maturity much quicker than sativas and indicas.

What Is an Heirloom Strain?

An heirloom strain is a variety of old-school agricultural cannabis. Heirloom strains have been taken from their original habitat and cultivated in a different environment. Although heirloom strains were genetically modified because of hybridization and cross-breeding, they are still close to their landrace parents.

Collecting Landrace Seeds

Gathering seeds from indigenous cannabis plants helps us preserve their unique features and increase the genetic variation of cannabis. However, some remote landrace cultivators often use modern and hybridized seeds, polluting natural strains and making some species endangered.

Common Landrace Strains

There are several landrace strains that form the base of many modern hybrids. Some of these strains include:

  • Thai
  • Afghani
  • Red Congolese
  • Nepalese
  • Hindu Kush
  • Durban Poison

All in all, heirloom and landrace strains need to be protected. We need to preserve and continue to cultivate wild types of cannabis if we hope to keep them around for the future.

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